On Monday, local media in Egypt have reported that a four-month baby boy has four kidneys after he suffered from various symptoms. “The child is currently in the intensive care under medical supervision until doctors decide on what procedures they will take and whether he needs a surgical intervention,” the source said.
According to experts, duplex kidney, also known as duplicated ureters, is the most common birth defect related to the urinary tract.
This occurs due to an incomplete fusion of the upper and lower pole of the kidney, which creates two separate drainage systems from the kidney.
Duplex kidney is a result of errors in cell pision that occur during the development of the fetus inside the mother’s womb. There is no evidence that suggests anything during pregnancy causes the defect.
However, there is evidence to show that the condition can be passed from parent to child. If one parent has a duplex kidney, the child has a 50 per cent chance of also being born with this condition.
Most people do not need treatment. If needed, treatments include:
- Ureteroureterostomy: The ectopic ureter is split near the bladder, then sewn into the normal ureter of the lower part of the kidney. This allows urine from the upper part of the kidney to drain normally.
- Ureteral reimplantation: The ectopic ureter is split near the bottom and sewn into the bladder. This allows urine to drain correctly and not flow backward.
- Nephrectomy: This treatment is rarely used – it’s the last resort. In it, some or all of the kidney that is not working correctly is surgically removed. This eliminates incontinence and decreases the chance of infection. This surgery is used only when kidney function is poor and the other kidney is operating normally.